Here’s a couple of secrets for academic success for entering freshmen at Durango High School:
Work hard early in the year to build up a grade cushion when burnout strikes later in the year.Develop great relationships with your teachers.Dive into extracurricular activities.The tips come from Curtis Salinger, 17, and Paxton Scott, 18, the 2018 inductees into the DHS Academic Hall of Fame.
“Part of the reason I’ve been so successful is I’ve had a great relationships with all my teachers,” said Salinger, son of Peter Salinger and Sally Zabriskie.
Scott, son of Don Scott and Cecile Fraley, said teachers at DHS use grades as a tool of accountability. As long as you are excited to learn, ask good questions and interact with your teacher, you are going to be rewarded with a fair grade.
Both students never knew what it was like to bring home a “B” for a class, though both said whenever they were in danger of slipping below an “A,” it wasn’t the end of the world for them.
“I was a little philosophical about grades,” Scott said.
A couple of classes when he felt he might fall below an “A” he said his view was: “It will be what it will be. I never focused on a grade. In general, if you focus on getting the learning, the grade will come.”
Salinger said he worked hard early in the year so he had a cushion built up when the inevitable burnout came at the end of the year.
For Scott, extracurricular activity is important not only because it helps getting into college, but it helps young people experiment with their interests before choosing a profession. He participated in DECA, El Diablo newspaper, the Aerospace Team, theater and track and field.
“Anybody as a freshman looking to go on academically should figure out what they enjoy and what interests them, and join extracurricular groups,” he said.
Salinger also participated in the Aerospace Team and track and field. He excelled in theater.
He was named Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role at the statewide Bobby G Awards for high school musical theater in 2016. Later that year at the National High School Music Theatre Awards in New York, he earned two scholarships – one a special recognition scholarship for $2,500 and the other a $7,500 scholarship to the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama Pre-College Summer Program.
Salinger plans to attend Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, in the fall, and Scott plans to attend Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
The Durango High School Academic Hall of Fame recognizes students who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary academic accomplishment and their passion for learning.
To be nominated for the Academic Hall of Fame a student must:
Be a senior.Be nominated by two or more teachers.Be in the top 10 percent of his or her class.Be a participant in an extracurricular activity or demonstrate community involvement.Be passionate about learning.Be free of any instances of academic firstname.lastname@example.orgAn earlier version of this story misspelled Curtis Salinger’s last name in the secondary headline.